My husband nudged me awake. My eyes sought out the clock, which informed me that it was 7:28 a.m. Yoicks! Kindergarten starts at 8:00. I got dressed and rousted Ben out of bed, battling his sleepy reluctance to do anything but cuddle. I wrestled him into his clothes, attempted (unsuccessfully) to smooth out his tousled bedhead, and had the daily morning toothbrushing standoff (invariably it involves Ben asking, “What if I throw up?”).
Out to the living room, 7:45. Shoes on; coat on; hat, scarf, and gloves on. Backpack on. Dreading the cold air and feeling whiny about a sore throat, I opened the front door.
What’s this? Snow? Huh? Hey, it’s snowing! In an instant, a morning beset by minor woes became a perfect morning. There was just enough snow to give everything a clean white blanket, and to crunch underfoot in staccato bursts of sound like popcorn popping. Ben swiped a fingertip across a car window to peek in through the snow cover, finding it magical. He stopped walking and stuck out his tongue to capture snowflakes; I did the same.
We hit a windy pocket at the end of the block. The wind’s sting made us grateful when we rounded the corner and our faces warmed again. We heard two crows having a harsh conversation. We saw footprints in the snow from schoolchildren and adults, from large dogs and small, and talked about following one set of tracks to see where it led.
Ben entered the school building and I turned around to walk home, crunching snow in staccato bursts. The wind stang, but calmer air imparted a sense of peace, perfection. Birds clustered in a tree, fluffing their feathers against the cold, perhaps eating the tree’s tiny apples, so weighed down by the snow that many had tumbled to the sidewalk to be crushed underfoot.
Happy December, everyone.